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Wise guy: Trent’s wisdom teeth sleep with the fishes

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My experience: Trent’s wisdom teeth sleep with the fishes

Going to the dentist is one of the most unwelcome parts of healthcare for many people, but as Trent will tell you, procrastinating on your dentist appointment will only make things worse. For people with wisdom teeth pushing through, a trip to the dentist may be necessary before they start causing too much grief.

Three years in the making

For Trent, 24, getting his wisdom teeth removed was an event three years in the making.

“About three years ago, I got an infection in my mouth as they were coming through. I got some antibiotics to clear it up but further to that, I was stupid and didn’t do anything about it,” Trent says.

“I was supposed to have an x-ray and just ignored it.

“Then about a month ago I got another infection, probably from some food getting in my gum. It was really painful and I had to go back in anyway.”

Taking care of business

What had happened to Trent is quite common. And while only one tooth seemed to be causing pain, the x-rays showed a different story.

“I first had to go to my dentist and he had a look to confirm that it was my wisdom teeth causing the problems. So I had some x-rays done that confirmed the diagnosis and I was referred to an oral surgeon,” Trent says.

“I had a consult with the surgeon who saw that the top two teeth were impacted and the other two were not coming in at good angles. He recommended taking all four out.

“I was a bit nervous, but the surgeon made sure to explain the procedure and all the risks to put me at ease. For example, on rare occasions, some people may get permanent numbness.”

Comfortably numb

My experience: Wisdom toothAs Trent explains, some people may only receive a local anaesthetic if they are having just one or two teeth removed. However, for the big four, Trent needed to go all the way.

“I went into day surgery and was put under general anaesthetic,” Trent says.

“It was really easy. I went to sleep and woke up with the job done. I could feel my teeth were missing, but they also give you local anaesthetic, so there was no pain and I didn’t feel groggy at all.

“In fact, it was a nice rest.”

Trent does mention that it can be very different for everyone. Trent had minimal swelling and pain. However, he did see another patient whose cheeks had swollen quite a bit.

“I was also given sufficient painkillers for the aftermath, but in a week, my face and mouth felt completely back to normal.”

Trent says a good tip is to ice your cheeks if they are feeling especially sore – you can even pick up an ice pack from your surgery. He also says to stick to soft foods like ice cream and yoghurt. Unfortunately, Trent admits, not eating well and coming off painkillers can make you quite irritable, but that’s part of the process you need to be prepared for.

Patients are also prescribed antibiotics to ensure no infections occur after surgery.

“And the stitches dissolve by themselves.”

X-ray specs

Now that Trent has finally faced his dental demons, he wonders why it took him so long. He confesses that he would have suffered a lot less if he had gone for x-rays when he was first directed to, but is relieved it’s all over. For others, he admonishes, “Don’t put it off … it only makes things worse!”

More information

Dental painFor more information on dental pain, including causes, statistics, risk factors, diagnosis and treatments, see Dental Pain.
Dental painFor more information on dental check-ups, see The Importance of Regular Dental Check-Ups.


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Posted On: 8 April, 2011
Modified On: 20 February, 2014


Created by: myVMC